Johnson publishes second children’s book

Cheryl Johnson, an instructor of English and modern languages at Lamar University recently released the second book, “Benny Learns a Lesson,” in her children’s series, “Benny the Dachshund.”Johnson Book

Johnson’s inspiration for the ‘Benny’ books came from her youngest daughter’s love for a miniature dachshund.  “When my youngest daughter was a teenager, she was dealing with anxiety and depression, said Johnson, who has served LU since 2003. “Although we had a family dog, my husband and I decided to let her pick out a dog for herself, a small dog that would be more a part of her.”

Johnson’s daughter, choose “Bentley,” which became “Benny,” a little dog with a large personality the whole family adores and a huge part of Johnson’s daughter’s healing process. Very quickly after Benny became a part of the family, the idea of children’s stories started “swirling around” in Johnson’s head, and she gradually started writing them down. In 2016, she attended a writing conference in North Carolina to “pitch” her ideas to publishers. By the fall she had a publisher, Elk Lake Publishing, who decided to work with her on the book series.

In “Benny Learns a Lesson,” Benny loves his new home, toys, peanut butter and after school play time. But when Holly comes home sick from school one day, Benny learns an unexpected lesson as he and Holly both learn they can do all things through Christ.

Benny Book1The first book in the “Benny the Dachshund” series is “Benny Finds a Home,” which is about Holly’s struggle to find friends, and Benny’s journey to find a home. The story is more than just a story of a puppy finding his forever home, it is a story of how God can use all his creations to show his love for us. This book is also an accelerated reader book, which means students can read it and take a test on it in school for points.

Johnson is pleased the books have become part of the accelerated reader program but is mostly proud they emphasize the role pets play in peoples’ lives.

“I have interviewed people with all kinds of pets, from horses to birds, and pets play such an important part in peoples’ lives,” she said.

Currently, Johnson is working on the third ‘Benny’ book, “Benny Meets the Junction Boy,” as well as collaborating with other Elk Lake Publishing authors for a collection of romance fiction short stories. Her short stories will be set post World War II and will be loosely based on how her parents met. This collection of short stories is due to be released in the Spring of 2022.

Both “Benny Finds a Home” and “Benny Learns a Lesson” are available on